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Cincinnati Bengals Last Season Performance

For the first time in franchise history, the Cincinnati Bengals appeared in back-to-back AFC Championship games. After beating the Kansas City Chiefs in three consecutive matchups, the Bengals fell short in the postseason with a 23-20 loss against Patrick Mahomes and Co.

Despite the disappointing end to the 2022 season, it was another smashing success for Cincinnati. It has won the last two AFC North titles – the first time Cincy has won back-to-back divisional titles. The Bengals finished the regular season 12-4 and won two playoff games, including a dominant 27-10 win over the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round. Cincinnati, led by quarterback Joe Burrow, is here to stay.

Cincinnati Bengals Key Additions

The big acquisition of the offseason was four-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Following contract disputes with the Chiefs, Brown signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Bengals. Cincinnati’s offensive line improved last season, but offensive tackle play was a big problem at times. Plus, it clearly lacked depth at the position after the O-line folded due to injuries late in the 2022 season.

Brown should be the Bengals’ best tackle since Andrew Whitworth made three Pro Bowls in Cincy from 2012-16. The interior of the offensive line is in good hands with center Ted Karras and guards Alex Cappa and Cordell Volson. If Cincinnati gets solid play at right tackle, Burrow could have exceptional protection. This would create a menacing offense, which could cause the Bengals’ Super Bowl odds to drop.

Irv Smith Jr. will slide into the starting tight end role. He’s dealt with injuries throughout his four-year career, but when healthy, Smith has high receiving potential. Safety Nick Scott will start at strong safety. He was inconsistent with the Los Angeles Rams. Cincy bolstered its depth with the signings of guard Cody Ford and edge rusher Tarell Basham.

In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bengals added defensive lineman Myles Murphy, cornerback DJ Turner II, safety Jordan Battle and running back Chase Brown. Each player could carve out important roles, providing quality depth for Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals Key Departures

The Bengals saw several starters from the 2022 season depart in free agency. Cincinnati’s starting safety duo of Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell headed to the NFC South. Bates joined the Atlanta Falcons, and Bell inked a deal with the Carolina Panthers. Safety is one of Cincy’s biggest concerns entering the 2023 season, which could impact NFL betting for projected totals.

Backup running back Samaje Perine signed with the Denver Broncos. The Bengals could lack quality running back depth behind Joe Mixon. Cincinnati needs Brown to excel in his rookie season.

Tight end Hayden Hurst also signed with the Panthers, reuniting with Bell. Hurst was a solid starting tight end in the 2022 season with 414 receiving yards.

Ovrall, the Bengals avoided losing major pieces. Bates was the most significant departure, but he was going to cost too much. He signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Falcons. The other losses are quite replacement, which Cincy did a nice job of filling in the offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Analysis

Zac Taylor received plenty of criticism in his first two seasons with a 6-25 record. Even during the 2021 season, some bashed Taylor’s play-calling on offense. After his best record yet at 12-4, the criticism has finally faded.

Taylor is safe in Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. He’s done an excellent job of molding this young core. Taylor and Burrow have been a great coach-quarterback pairing. Why would the Bengals look to move on from the coach who helped Burrow become one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks?

Taylor is also supported by two great coordinators – offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. Callahan and Anarumo could be up for head coaching gigs after the 2023 season.

Cincinnati Bengals Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season

Cincinnati’s roster should be healthy by the start of the 2023 season. Edge rusher Joseph Ossai (shoulder) should be ready for Week 1. Offensive tackle Jonah Williams is dealing with a kneecap injury and is expected to return for training camp.

Offensive tackle La’el Collins (knee) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (knee) were placed on the PUP list on July 23. However, both players are expected to return in some capacity during training camp.

Infographic NFL Bengals
Infographic NFL Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Offense

The offense will always steal the spotlight. How could it not? Burrow is the second-best quarterback in the league ahead of the 2023 season. NFL lines have the fourth-year QB as one of the favorites for the MVP Award.

The Bengals boast the top receiving corps in the league, led by Ja’Marr Chase. Tee Higgins is one of the better No. 2 wideouts you will find. Tyler Boyd remains an underrated slot receiver. Chase is firmly among the top-five receivers in the NFL, putting him in the conversation for Offensive Player of the Year. Ahead of the 2023 season, the sportsbook has Chase tied with Justin Jefferson as the favorite for the award.

We know this passing attack is elite when it gets going. Its peak will likely be determined by the offensive line. The unit should be improved with the addition of Brown. If Burrow gets quality offensive tackle play, look out.

The run game could be one of Cincinnati’s biggest concerns for the 2023 season. Perine was a quality backup that provided relief for Mixon. The Bengals cannot put everything on Mixon, who comes off an underwhelming season. Cincy needs its depth to step up, like Brown – the rookie out of Illinois.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense

Defensive coordinator Lo Anarumo is a wizard. When a unit has an excellent play caller, it usually excels. Expect more of the same for the Bengals’ defense. This unit continues to be the unsung hero of Cincy’s recent success.

The defensive line is strong with edge rushers Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard paired with defensive tackles D.J. Reader and B.J. Hill. Cincinnati has lacked defensive end depth at times. That was addressed with the addition of first-round rookie Murphy. He has a good chance of carving out a significant role. Murphy has the ability to play D-end and on the interior, giving the Bengals impressive versatility.

Cincy re-signed linebacker Germaine Pratt, who had an excellent 2022 season. The Bengals had one of the best linebacker duos in the league last season with Pratt and Logan Wilson. The two are together once again for the 2023 season. The front seven is the clear strength of Cincinnati’s defense. The D-line is good against the run with solid pass rushing, and the linebackers are quick in run support and solid in coverage.

The secondary is where the Bengals could have problems. Their top cornerback Awuzie comes off a torn ACL. Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt was solid in his rookie season, but Cincinnati will need a leap from the second-year player. At safety, the Bengals replace two starters. Second-year safety Dax Hill and Scott will likely fill the starting spots.

Cincinnati Bengals Special Teams

Kicker Evan McPherson converted 82.8% of his field goals in the 2022 season, which ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. He also missed four extra points, compared to two in his rookie season. McPherson’s play dropped, but he remains a solid kicker.

Punting has been a weakness for several seasons. Kevin Huber ranked fifth-to-last last season with an average of 43.2 yards per punt. Drue Chrisman took over late in the 2022 season and averaged 47.8 yards per punt. Huber retired, which should mean improved punting. Cincy also drafted Brad Robbins out of Michigan. Chrisman and Robbins will battle for the starting spot.

Cincinnati Bengals Prediction for the 2023 Season

The Bengals should have another successful year ahead. They have the tools to make the postseason and compete for the AFC North. However, Cincinnati’s goals are higher than that. This is a franchise looking to break through with its first Super Bowl win. Can the Bengals get there?

Cincinnati did an excellent job of adding depth in the offseason, which could be a massive help during the playoffs. The AFC North should be improved after the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers had strong offseasons. While the Bengals should make the postseason, repeating as AFC North champions is not a sure thing. In fact, I expect the Ravens to win the division, meaning a wild card spot for Cincinnati.

The Bengals can still go on a deep run out of a wild-card spot. The AFC is as strong as ever, making a Super Bowl run a tall task.

Cincinnati Bengals Final Thoughts

Cincy should be strong on both sides of the ball. The offensive line could determine how far the Bengals go. With time in the pocket, Burrow and Co. could be nearly unstoppable. However, the offense could lack balance, unless Mixon returns to form.

The secondary is also among the top concerns. There’s no guarantee that Awuzie returns to form following a major knee injury. Taylor-Britt is still somewhat inexperienced, and the safety room is a mystery.

Ultimately, Cincinnati has one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, which will lead to success. Burrow’s surrounding pieces will determine how far the Bengals go.

Cincinnati Bengals FAQs

How many Super Bowls have the Bengals won?

Cincinnati has yet to win the Lombardi Trophy. The Bengals played in Super Bowl 16 in 1982, Super Bowl 23 in 1989 and Super Bowl 56 in 2022. Cincinnati came up short in every game.

Is Joe Burrow the best quarterback in the AFC North?

This has become a foregone conclusion following the 2022 season. Many believe Joe Burrow is the second-best quarterback in the NFL, behind Patrick Mahomes.

Will the Bengals repeat as AFC North champions?

Cincinnati has won back-to-back AFC North titles, but the division continues to improve. Winning a third consecutive title will be a tall task. The Ravens could be the Bengals’ best competition, and the Browns are a sleeper.

What are the odds of the Cincinnati Bengals making it to Super Bowl 58?

The Bengals have as good a chance as anyone in the AFC to reach Super Bowl 58. Cincinnati has appeared in back-to-back AFC Championship games. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only team in the AFC with more recent success.